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Molde send Sligo out of Champions League

Ian Baraclough’s side lost 2-0 in Norway this evening.

SLIGO ROVERS ARE out of the Champions League after they lost 2-0 to Molde this evening.

Sligo travelled to Norway looking to overturn last week’s 1-0 defeat but a goal in either half sent Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men through 3-0 on aggregate. They now play either TNS or Legia Warsaw in the third qualifying round.

For Sligo the focus returns to domestic matters and the challenge of reeling in league leaders St Patrick’s Athletic if they are to win back-to-back titles for the first time in the club’s history.

Danny North and Rafael Cretaro were passed fit after their recent injuries but both men started on the bench as Ian Baraclough went with Anthony Elding to lead the attack.

There was cause for optimism after an evenly-matched first leg in the Showgrounds but any chance Sligo had to cause a shock suffered a major setback after just five minutes. Norwegian international Jo Inge Berget played in Martin Linnes and the defender finished past Gary Rogers.

Sligo responded with a spell of pressure and some half-chances but couldn’t find a way through.

Cretaro and North both came off the bench in the second half as Sligo pressed in search of a lifeline but it was Molde sub Aliou Coly who had the definitive say and made the tie safe for the Norwegians.

After forcing a save from Rogers a minute beforehand, Coly wasn’t to be denied again and finished off Daniel Chima’s pass on 77 minutes.

The defeat leaves Derry City as the only Airtricity League side left in European competition this season. They trail Trabzonspor of Turkey 4-2 ahead of Thursday night’s second leg in the Brandywell.

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Niall Kelly

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